Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ephesians 1: 11-23

The astute among you will recognize that this is not, in fact, the reading for today. That’s because today is Ascension Day. One of the big days in the church year, it has its own set of readings. It also has its own collect (prayer), which captures what we celebrate on this day well.
Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe youronly-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascendedinto heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend,and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns withyou and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Still, because part of our purpose in writing these devotions is to encourage all of us to walk through the Bible, I’m going to keep going with the book of Ephesians. Specifically, Ephesians 1: 11-23.

It’s a stunning passage, filled with such essential truths as God choose you (!!!) to help accomplish His purposes, and that Christ—and Christ alone—is the supreme authority in the church. How easy it can be to forget that—and how deadly!

But the verses I want to focus briefly on are the words of Paul’s prayer in verses 17-19. For starters, it is well worth praying this prayer for one another: That we would know Christ better; that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened, and that we might know His incomparably great power working in us who believe. What could be more important, more vital to our life, than this?

Notice that the same power at work in us is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Think about that a minute. That’s a lot of power! Eugene Peterson translates it, “endless energy, boundless strength.”

Notice, however, that such power is for those who “believe”. Do you believe you have that power at work in your life? Do I? And if so, how is it being manifested? How is that power at work in your life and mine? Such power is meant for more than merely going to church and living a nice, safe little life.

With such power available to us, what are we doing with it?

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